The preventive and therapeutic application of garlic and other plant ingredients in the treatment of periodontal diseases.
Exp Ther Med. 2020 Feb ;19(2):1507-1510. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 32010331
Since ancient times, pharmacologically active ingredients derived from natural sources, including plants and microbials have been used in the treatment of a wide array of diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and cancers. Herbal extracts and polyphenols are produced from herbs that contain a variety of ingredients, most of which exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-microbial actions. Gingivitis is triggered by the infection of the periodontal tissues with periodontal disease-causing pathogens present in the dental biofilm. This is accompanied by weak inflammatory immune reactions in the gingiva. In periodontitis, prolonged and excessive inflammation results in the destruction of gingival connective tissue and in the resorption of alveolar bone, leading to tooth loss. There are a number of clinical reports showing the effectiveness of both herbal extracts and polyphenols on periodontal diseases when applied as a mouthwash or dentifrice into the oral cavity. However, to date, at least to the best of our knowledge, there is no clinical report available on the therapeutic effects of garlic or its extract on periodontal diseases, apart from a recent study, which reported that the intake of aged garlic extract (AGE) containing various pharmacologically active sulfur compounds, alleviated the symptoms of gingivitis clinically. The finding suggests that AGE may be a promising candidate for use in the treatment of periodontal diseases, although additional clinical trials are warranted to confirm this. In addition, further studies are required for the clarification of the basic molecular mechanisms through which AGE attenuates gingivitis. In this review, we summarize the beneficial effects of several natural compounds on periodontal disease and describe the possible applications of garlic ingredients in detail.